Law & Order: Organized Crime 2×12 “As Iago Is To Othello” was, in a word, nuts. But actually mean that in the most positive of ways, for the most part. So much happened in so little time, and this is something that should probably have stopped surprising us by now. Maybe it would have, if it weren’t for the fact that this ride just keeps getting wilder and wilder.
What’s probably most concerning at this point (besides, well, everything?) is the way the Richard Wheatley of it all looks to be on the verge of derailing Elliot Stabler’s career. Sergeant Bell has his back, but she can only have it to a certain point. Everyone, from Lieutenant Brewster, to Congressman Kilbride, to Teddy Garcia—as in, the new Governor—is trying to convince her that Stabler has some sort of obsession, that all the connections he’s making between Wheatley and Sebastian McClane are delusions. But, as Ayanna Bell knows—as viewers know—they’re all wrong. And Elliot is right.
He’s just running out of time to prove it. Wheatley has already used just the right amount of truth about El’s past to convince all those important people that he’s unstable, obsessed with him, making things up because of a vendetta…The list goes on and on.
“You know the term, ‘justice is blind’? Which means it’s impartial. It’s not. It’s blind. It can be easily led. Or manipulated in the wrong direction. I am determined—relentlessly determined—to guard against that happening.”
Everyone is so convinced about Elliot’s so-called “obsession,” they even forced him to get a psychological evaluation, which…Let’s be fair here: Does he need it for other reasons? Probably. For this? No.
Forget the fact that Wheatley himself is just as obsessed with Elliot as he claims Detective Stabler is with him, if not more so. There’s also some really deeply disturbing shit going on there with his possessive, jealous behavior with respect to his ex-wife, Angela.
Oh, what tangled webs we weave…
We’re right back to the whole, “Angela Wheatley: Villain or Victim” game. Then again, we never really left it. On any other series, with any other actors, we’d probably be sick of that back and forth by now. But this is Law & Order: Organized Crime. So, we’re not.
One thing that’s for certain is that Tamara Taylor has great chemistry with both Chris Meloni and the other actor, but it’s in a very “wow, this is tense and fucked up” kind of way instead of a “let’s ship this” one—which is great! Is it kind of hot when Angela and Richard are all over each other? Kind of. But…can we get behind that, especially with seeing how he manhandles her and destroys her job interview, all because he thinks she’s hooking up with Zaddy Stabler? Is it at all healthy that Richard hacked his ex-wife’s computer, then stalked her staged dinner with Detective Stabler?
This game Stabler and Wheatley are playing is so exciting to watch, and Elliot absolutely knew what buttons to push and how…But at the same time, we have to say it: A woman, even one with questionable morals, shouldn’t be used as a pawn in a game between two men. Detective Stabler at least had the decency to tell Angela that, basically, nothing he said or did with her was to be trusted. He just should have known better than to push that “possessive husband” (or ex-husband, in this case) button in the first place. After all the years he worked at SVU, he, of all people, ought to know this could end very, very badly.
And honestly, even if he didn’t have that experience, the bare minimum of decency says that women aren’t men’s toys. Regardless of what type of entity Angela turns out to be, whether angel or demon (probably a little bit of both because Law & Order: Organized Crime is alllll about the excellent and complicated characterization), she is not an object.
To some extent, she’s a willing participant in the game and even initiates a few rounds herself. There is, after all, the moment in Law & Order: Organized Crime 2×12 where Angela uses Richard’s desire for her to manipulate him into letting Sebastian McClane go. But that doesn’t necessarily make the whole woman-as-gamepiece situation less uncomfortable. Angela making the choice to take advantage of that attraction is much, much different than Elliot hatching a plan that involves doing the same thing. Of course, with everyone lying to everyone and Organized Crime never quite giving us the full story on Angela, it’s not exactly easy to make a real judgment call here.
The other difficult part of all of this is just how well Elliot’s decision to strike at that Angela-shaped nerve plays out in Organized Crime 2×12. The performances, from Meloni and Taylor in particular, are so damned good. You get wrapped up in that dinner. It keeps you on the edge of your seat in ways it has absolutely no right to. Honestly, it’s a bigger shot of adrenaline than most action sequences, and it shows just how in control Elliot Stabler is—no matter how much the people above him have been manipulated to believe otherwise.
That doesn’t even begin to get into how straight up delicious Stabler and Wheatley’s elevator fight was in Law & Order: Organized Crime 2×12—which it most definitely was. Am I going to be staring at gifs of that headbutt for a long time? Uh, yeah. It’s just, the underlying implications are super icky. Basically, it’s a “kids, don’t try this at home” kind of thing.
Hacking into our hearts
Sebastian McClane played the shit out of Richard Wheatley using his own talents only, leaving behind a trail of code that would expose every transaction Wheatley had made. So, basically, he’s our true king right now.
Assuming the OCCB can actually play nice enough with him to get his evidence, the extra little something McClane added to his code is going to wind up being a big part of vindicating Elliot Stabler. And this, folks, is why we don’t try to take advantage of the people who are a billion times smarter than us—who are experts at what we’re having them do “for” us. At the very least, we should know being told how something will just “bore” us is just a way to get us to stop asking questions.
Wheatley’s about to learn that the hard way. Couldn’t happen to a better guy.
Law & Order: Organized Crime 2×12 gave us yet another reason to love Sebastian McClane: While he was promising to hand Elliot his nemesis on a silver platter, he was busy handing out stacks of cash to random people at the New York Public Library. All the money he managed to collect for himself while playing his own game of manipulation with stock trades—which, again, much better than manipulating a woman and/or using that woman to play with someone else—he took it from the disgustingly wealthy and gave it back to the average people whose exploitation they “earned” that money from. This is what we call justice, folks.
Of course, McClane isn’t the only techie we love: There’s also our hacker OTP, Jalachi. They didn’t get a ton of moments to be them in this episode, but “As Iago Is To Othello” definitely made Jet and Malachi the real keys to cracking this case, yet again. Our girl Jet figured out exactly how much damage McClane could do and how quickly, right at the beginning of Organized Crime 2×12. Just as folks at “the beating heart of the global financial universe” were in the middle of bragging about how hack-proof their systems were, she quietly asked about their IDS…And then, had to explain what that even was.
Later, when Jalachi explained their “rainbow table scheme,” it was another one of those “breath of fresh air” sorts of moments. Yes, their particular skill set is specialized and not necessarily something non-programmer types will always understand at its deepest level. Certainly, Old Man Stabler probably has trouble so much as sending text messages (he failed to do so for 10 years, so)…But the explanation was simple, to the point, and easy for the non-geeks to “get.” There wasn’t the typical awkwardness you might expect from a television show trying to explain technology to its audience.
It just worked. And that’s a really small detail to get excited about…right up until you think about how many times so many other series have failed at trying to tell any stories, whatsoever, having to do with anything remotely scientific—especially modern (as in, post whatever dinosaur age most higher-ups seem to come from) technology.
Jet also had to be the one to break the news to Elliot that the thing pointing toward Wheatley, the thing he wanted to commemorate, was the day Kathy Stabler died. And, while we’ll get petty down in the random section below, let’s take a minute to just bask in how painful that had to be for El. Say what you will about Kathy and that marriage—and please, come chat, let’s say what we will—that’s still a punch to a man’s gut. Meloni killed the reaction, as he tends to do.
And our fave Ainsley Seiger delivered Jet’s cautious, awkward, and kind of regretful revelation so well. It’s been really interesting to see Slootmaekers quietly develop and come out of her shell this season, and the empathy she clearly had for Stabler when she dropped the bomb in Law & Order: Organized Crime 2×12 was a great, big indicator of how much she’s growing. Now, if we could just get into some serious Jalachi territory, that’d be fab. (Kids, don’t try EO’s 23-year idiocy at home. I’m begging.)
More of our obsession with Law & Order: Organized Crime 2×12
- “People seem to like what I’m doing.” I am people.
- “But I can’t lie to back you up. One of us has to be unimpeachable.” See? This is how normal partners behave, Elliot. Whatever you and Liv were all those years…was not this.
- Shoutout to Malachi for mentioning bar mitzvahs in his list of things people might want to remember. But if that means the villain is one of my people, I’m not here for that.
- “Where do you live?” “Inside your head.” Law & Order: Organized Crime 2×12 has been stalking the dream conversations I have with EO. Weird.
- …or was it just Chris Meloni’s ass talking to me?
- “I thought I’d pretend to be in love with you.” See also: Things a bald bitch says to his wife when he ghosts the one true love of his life for 10 years.
- I, too, celebrate that date.
- The ageist comment about Jet is giving bitter.
- “Are you obsessed, Detective Stabler?” Yes. But not with Dick Wheats. With her.
- “That’s in his DNA now.” No. But Olivia is.
- “Irrepressible lust” is also a thing I feel for Zaddy Stabler’s physique.
- Basically, it’s time to blame all the dirty thoughts on the planted pic of the physique in question. They knew what they were doing with that.
- And while we’re at it, if the old man is going to flash his shit all over town like this, can he please send some of that love to his “friend” Olivia?
- …or did he have his sext ready to plant because he’d already taken it for her? Hm. Yes. Let’s go with that, together with that turtleneck, meaning things have happened.
- “Imagine the panic when it turns out to be true.” Literally can not wait for every single one of these people to have to admit they were wrong and Elliot was right.
- Just because Bernie’s “gentlemanly friend” turned out to be another gross manipulation of a woman in this game doesn’t mean Miles didn’t play the part very well.
- What I’m saying here is Elliot, be gentlemanly and take your friend some flowers.
- Or send her that pic of your man boobs. Whichever.
- “Use all your resources to do a deep dive.” Bell, giving me my orders on how to do my Organized Crime 2×12 review.
- “Do you see injustice happening right now?” “All the time, everywhere, every day.” My. Man. Is. Not. Wrong.
- Elliot’s comment about Malachi being back? The man has the taste to ship Jalachi. Love that for him.
- “I love her. And I need her. Every thing we did, you and me, I did for her.” THIS IS SO TOXIC.
- “You’re not Catholic, are you?” “Muslim. But probably what you’re about to say will apply as well to my faith.” Louder.
- Actually, a highlight: The therapy scene is really something else. Stabler’s conviction, his quotes on obsession, and Meloni’s choices here all point to Elliot being kind of…off. And yet, we know he knows what he’s doing and is in control; we know he’s correct about Wheatley and not just mindlessly chasing his nemesis. It’s almost like our guy is even playing a game with the therapist, right up until the point where he says he’ll gladly hand over his gun and badge if he can’t get the job done in two days.
- Something tells me those next two days are going to be…a lot.